Construction Contract On Prison Passes $118 Million

(August 9) The construction cost on the Adelanto Detention Center project this week increased for the nineteenth and twentieth times, zooming to $118,310,972.
The construction bill on the project was originally slated at $90,951,937.
Moreover, the total cost of the project, including engineering, architectural, licensing  and inspection costs, has moved beyond  $145 million, $25 million more than the $120 million projected to be the project’s overall cost including a ten percent cost overrun contingency.
The expansion will add 1,392 new beds to the existing 706-inmate capacity of the facility, which was  formerly privately owned and run while known as Maranatha Prison. The owner of that facility, Maranatha Private Corrections, a part of the Moreland Family Trust, in April 2005 sold the prison, located on 9438 Commerce Way in Adelanto,  to the county of San Bernardino for $31.2 million.
This week the board of supervisors approved the ninth change order to its construction contract with Lydig Construction, Inc. in the amount of $326,568, increasing the total contract amount from $117,274,871 to $117,601,439. Immediately thereupon, the board approved the eleventh contract amendment to the contract, increasing the total contract amount from $117,601,439 to $118,310,972.
The change order is intended to compensate Lydig for the labor and materials related to five constructability issues that involve the addition of countertop supports at the center core of the housing units; hard wiring of the dryers in the compressor room; modifications to the detention ceilings and drywall in various areas of the housing units; and revisions to the light fixtures in the dormitory ceilings and the center core of the housing units, along with three items related to the fire alarm system; as well as  three issues pertaining to the exterior of the new facility that include the addition of protection bollards; installation of decomposed granite in specified areas; and the addition of sidewalks and a ramp between the new housing units and the existing buildings.
The contract amendment covers what was characterized as the “unforeseen requirement” for the installation of a third electrical service necessary to increase the available power for the expansion of the facility while providing capacity for future upgrades of the facility; the installation of a fire booster pump to ensure the proper flow and functioning of the fire protection systems; the expedited procurement and delivery of smoke control panels and supervisory panels necessary to achieve the scheduled project completion date; and the relocation of smoke detectors in the dormitory sleeping areas as required by the Board of State and Community Corrections.
There have been multiple overruns on the project, which the county’s architecture and engineering officials claim stem from what they say were unanticipated developments. Those changes, however, now exceed more than 20 percent of the original budget – well beyond the ten percent contingency initially allowed when the project was approved.
Recurrent issues in the construction cost increases have been functionality problems and design changes with the smoke control and fire sprinkler systems and change orders and contract amendments pertaining to a water well on the site which was intended to provide water to the facility that turned out to be contaminated with a high level of fluoride.
Bellevue, Washington-based Lydig Construction, Inc. has been the beneficiary of all of the construction  upgrades to the contract.

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